My World Cup Dressage Diary – 7th April (Part 1)

I don’t often talk about the weather.  Mostly because I just take it for granted, but ………

Today hit a top of  7 degrees at some point, that I missed.  Sleet first thing this morning, followed by rain, then a cool breeze, then back to sleet and some locals said it was snow as well.   Awful.  It is suppose to warm up later in the week, after the possibility of hitting minus numbers before that – can’t wait.

Needless to say that bike riding and sightseeing today in Munster has been postponed! We did have a great lunch, checked out the cathedral, did some retail therapy and thought of warm Australian summers.

Thanks to everyone who has asked questions for my diary updates and thanks to Adam Fawcett from Warragul in Victoria for a few very complex, but great questions.  Adam wants to know if I introduce new training methods close to a major event or if I stay with the tried and true methods.

When I come to Europe to campaign it is always hard to maintain my tried and true training methods.  This is true of this Dressage World Cup campaign too.  The reason being that I have worked so hard to get overseas and I want to learn and absorb as much as possible in the short time I am here. But with the campaigns, there is always the pressure of a competition not far away. I am very lucky that my coach, Clemens Dierks, has come over to help me with my campaigns over the years.  Clemens keeps me focused and on the straight and narrow leading into the competitions.

Over the years I have found it is much better to stay with my tried and true training methods, but I still try to be open minded enough to try and incorporate small changes if they work well for me and the horse.  The smaller changes could be just as little as changing my hand position, the way I ride a corner in the arena or when I do a half halt in a movement to make it better.  The smaller subtle changes are the easier ones to make.

Any major changes have to wait till later when there is not the pressure of a major competition breathing down my neck.  It can take up to 6 months to make decent changes in a horse and/or rider and have those changes solid.  Under times of pressure a rider will 99% of the time fall back to “what they know”, not what they have currently learnt.  I have found that my trips overseas have heaps of benefit later, when I am at home training and playing, when I have time to create and learn the feel of new methods in a relaxed setting.

I have to be open minded in so many aspects during these campaigns.  Australia is a long way from the rest of the world and I always try to learn as much as possible, and to benefit from the unique experience of each trip overseas.


3 thoughts on “My World Cup Dressage Diary – 7th April (Part 1)

  1. thanks so much for answering my questions Rachael, very insightful and really enjoyed hearing your thoughts. Thanks again for sharing your journey with us and best of luck with everything, we are all supporting you back home! Stay warm!! Adam 🙂

  2. Hi Rachel,
    Just realized my questions were actually quite similar to Adam’s 🙂
    Thanks for incorporating the questions into your blog and answering them so thoughtfully. It is very interesting hearing how someone of your calibre deals with the challenges riders aspiring to ride GP (well) face.
    All the best for the WC and your olympic campaign over there!

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